67-Year-Old Albatross Wisdom Hatches Chick


This video from Midway island in the Pacific says about itself:

No Spring Chicken: 67-Year-Old [Laysan] Albatross [called Wisdom] Hatches Chick | Nat Geo Wild

28 February 2018

At 67 years old, the world’s oldest known wild bird hatched a new chick.

World’s oldest albatross lays egg


This video says about itself:

19 February 2016

World renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle reflects on the incredible connection between a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, the oldest known bird in the world, and the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūle‘a, as both have traveled countless thousands of miles over the last several decades.

From the South China Morning Post:

Wisdom, the oldest known seabird, lays an egg at 66

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 3:09pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 9:38pm

The world’s oldest known seabird is expecting.

The Laysan albatross known as Wisdom – a bird thought to be at least 66 years old – is incubating an egg once again, putting her on track to become the oldest breeding wild bird in the world.

Charlie Pelizza, the US Fish and Wildlife Service project leader at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, said that Wisdom has been returning there for six decades.

“The staff was abuzz with the news that Wisdom was back and incubating,” he said.

The bird was first banded in 1956. Since 2006 she has fledged at least nine chicks, and travelled some three million miles over the course of her life.

Her mate, Akeakamai, was seen near their nest site on November 23.

The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Reserve is home to the world’s largest albatross colony.

Park staff had thought Wisdom might take a year off from breeding, as many albatrosses must take time to molt and replenish their plumage.

The birds spend almost 90 per cent of their lives flying, travelling thousands of miles every year looking for food.

There’s an estimated 3 million breeding birds year-round at the Midway Atoll refuge.

Seabirds eat plastic smelling like food


This January 2020 video from the USA is called #BringBirdsBack – Use Less Plastic.

Another video used to say about itself:

When birds eats plastic!! (Shocking video)

19 February 2013

Midway Island is an uninhabited island about 2000 km from any other coast line. It lies roughly equidistant between North America and Asia, and almost halfway around the world from England.

If you think that throwing away that plastic bottle or piece of rubbish, can’t possibly be doing any harm, then watch this clip and think again.

From Science News:

Ocean plastic emits chemical that tricks seabirds into eating trash

by Laurel Hamers

2:00pm, November 9, 2016

Plastic smells like supper for some seabirds. When the ubiquitous material ends up in the ocean, it gives off a chemical that albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters often use to locate food, researchers report online November 9 in Science Advances. That might lead the birds to ingest harmful junk instead of a real meal.

Researchers let small beads of three common plastics linger off the coast of California. After a couple of weeks, the once-clean plastic accumulated grit, grime and bacteria that gave off an odiferous gas called dimethyl sulfide. Phytoplankton gives off the same gas, and certain seabirds use its odor as a cue that dinner is nearby. Birds that rely more heavily on dimethyl sulfide as a beacon for a nearby meal are more likely to ingest plastic than birds that don’t, the team found. And other plankton-feeding marine animals could also be fooled.

We’re proud to present ‘The ‘Seabird’ Bulletin’ – a special summer edition of our regular news brief, ‘The Bird Bulletin’. Throughout June, we chronicled the high seas adventures of our Marine Conservation Officer, Marguerite Tarzia aboard the RSS Discovery on its ‘Journey to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge’ – read the highlights from Marguerite and her fellow crewmates here!

Wisdom, oldest albatross, returns to Midway Atoll


This video says about itself:

Egg Laid By World’s Oldest Banded Wild Albatross

18 December 2014

Wisdom, a 63-year-old Laysan albatross living in Hawaii, has lain yet another egg.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross estimated to be around 63 years old, has laid yet another egg at her home on an atoll about 1200 miles northwest of Honolulu.

She is the oldest known banded bird living in the wild, and is believed to have already raised about 35 offspring.

Mating and child rearing isn’t a casual affair among the species.

Only one egg is laid at a time, so it’s particularly important that everything goes well.

Males and females couple for life, and once the egg is produced they share in the early incubation responsibilities.

It’s an all or nothing process, as if something goes awry and the shelled embryo doesn’t make it, there will not be another attempt until the mating season rolls around again in the following year.

If it does succeed, a great deal of time is spent preparing the little one to go and live on its own.

The whole process takes about a year.

Wisdom has enjoyed a phenomenal chick survival rate in recent years, with 8 of her 9 most recent attempts being successful.

Officials from the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge are anticipating that the latest will emerge in early February.

From the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region:

Something to be thankful for – Wisdom has returned to Midway Atoll!

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and, the world’s oldest known banded bird in the wild has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. On November 19 and just in time for the special day of giving thanks, almost a year to the day she returned last year, Wisdom was spotted with her mate among the world’s largest nesting albatross colony.

“In the face of dramatic seabird population decreases worldwide –70% drop since the 1950’s when Wisdom was first banded–Wisdom has become a symbol of hope and inspiration,” said Refuge Manager, Dan Clark.” We are a part of the fate of Wisdom and it is gratifying to see her return because of the decades of hard work conducted to manage and protect albatross nesting habitat.”

“Wisdom left soon after mating but we expect her back any day now to lay her egg,” noted Deputy Refuge Manager, Bret Wolfe. “It is very humbling to think that she has been visiting Midway for at least 64 years. Navy sailors and their families likely walked by her not knowing she could possibly be rearing a chick over 50 years later. She represents a connection to Midway’s past as well as embodying our hope for the future.”

Wisdom was first banded in 1956. And because Laysan albatross do not return to breed until they are at least five years old, it is estimated Wisdom is at least 64 years old, but she could be older. Many birds lose their bands before they can be replaced. Wisdom’s bands, however, were continuously replaced and because of meticulous record keeping associated with bird banding, we can verify she is the same bird first banded by noted author and Service ornithologist, Chandler Robbins. Biologists may find even older birds as old worn bands continue to be routinely replaced.

Although Laysan albatrosses typically mate for life, Wisdom has likely had more than one mate and has raised as many as 36 chicks. Laying only one egg per year, a breeding albatross and their mate will spend approximately six months rearing and feeding their young. When not tending to their chicks, albatross forage hundreds of miles out at sea periodically returning with meals of squid or flying fish eggs. Wisdom has likely clocked over six million ocean miles of flight time.

November 25, 2015

Boom! Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird has laid an egg! Wisdom is a 67 year old Laysan albatross from the Midway Atoll: here.

Albatross, petrel egg sizes, new research


This video says about itself:

Egg Laid By World’s Oldest Banded Wild Albatross

18 December 2014

Wisdom, a 63-year-old Laysan albatross living in Hawaii, has lain yet another egg.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross estimated to be around 63 years old, has laid yet another egg at her home on an atoll about 1200 miles northwest of Honolulu.

She is the oldest known banded bird living in the wild, and is believed to have already raised about 35 offspring.

Mating and child rearing isn’t a casual affair among the species.

Only one egg is laid at a time, so it’s particularly important that everything goes well.

Males and females couple for life, and once the egg is produced they share in the early incubation responsibilities.

It’s an all or nothing process, as if something goes awry and the shelled embryo doesn’t make it, there will not be another attempt until the mating season rolls around again in the following year.

If it does succeed, a great deal of time is spent preparing the little one to go and live on its own.

The whole process takes about a year.

Wisdom has enjoyed a phenomenal chick survival rate in recent years, with 8 of her 9 most recent attempts being successful.

Officials from the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge are anticipating that the latest will emerge in early February.

From the Canadian Journal of Zoology:

Does feeding zone influence egg size in slow-breeding seabirds?

F. Stephen Dobson, Pierre Jouventin

20 June 2015

Abstract

In several bird species, mothers that endow their eggs with additional resources benefit from more rapid development and more robust offspring. We examined egg size and associated life-history traits in 44 species of the slow-breeding procellariiform seabirds (albatrosses and petrels).

The far distant foraging of some of the species should subject them to difficult ecological conditions and perhaps delays in return to the nest. Such delays might lead to poorer egg care by the remaining parent. To compensate, we predicted a positive association of egg size with foraging zone (offshore, near pelagic, far pelagic), and both with the length of incubation shifts.

We tested this hypothesis and also examined egg size and fitness-related reproductive traits. Egg size scaled significantly and tightly with female body mass (β = 0.72, R2 = 0.98). After influences of both size and phylogeny were removed, however, egg size was positively and significantly associated with both mean length of incubation shift and feeding zone (r = 0.45 and 0.46, respectively), perhaps indicating a life-history syndrome of egg size, incubation, and distance that species go to forage during the breeding season, and supporting the compensation hypothesis.

Laysan albatross nest on webcam again


This video says about itself:

Midway Atoll, Northwest Hawaiian Islands, North Pacific Ocean.

May 8, 2010.

Two non-breeding Laysan albatrosses perform an intricate courtship dance with Midway Atoll‘s turquoise lagoon serving as backdrop. The earsplitting whistles, braying, rooster-like crows and bill clacking you will hear are all part of Laysan albatrosses‘ wonderful dance. The birds’ courting episodes can last for hours, even being performed through the night.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

The Albatrosses of Kauai Return

Just in time for the first eggs to begin hatching, our Kauai Laysan Albatross cam returns. This year, we’ve upgraded the cam to include infrared illumination for nighttime viewing, and two albatross nests will be visible from the camera!

Last year’s pair, Kaluakane and Kaluahine, continue to nest onsite, but are far from the area that the camera can access. This year you’ll get to know two new albatross families on screen. The parents of the nest in front of the cam under the palm tree are mom Malumalu (band number K312) and dad Ko’olau (KP975); they are the parents of Mango, the young albatross who shared the limelight with Kaloakulua on last year’s Albatross Cam. The parents of the distant nest under the banana tree are dad Akamai (K039) and mom Ala (A379). As with last year, each of the adults has been given a name by a native Hawaiian kumu, or teacher (learn more about their names).

Both nests’ eggs will likely hatch over the next 7 to 10 days—don’t miss out on being among a select few who have ever watched a Laysan Albatross enter the world! Watch live.

World’s oldest, banded wild bird back on Midway


This February 2016 video is called Amazing Bird: Age 65, May Have Had 40 Chicks, Traveled Three Million Miles | National Geographic.

Another video from Hawaii wehich used to be on the Internet used to say about itself:

26 April 2011

In this video Laysan albatross Wisdom is feeding her chick. Sixty-year-old-plus Wisdom (Red Band #Z333), the oldest documented banded bird in North America returned to Midway Atoll in the remote Northwest Hawaiian Islands to raise a chick during the 2010/2011 breeding season.

Midway Atoll suffered much loss of wildlife when it was hit by the tsunami generated by the massive Japan earthquake in March 2011. Fortunately Wisdom, her mate and their chick all survived the raging waters that impacted Midway Atoll late at night on March 10.

Wisdom and her mate’s nest site is marked by an orange stake planted very close to the nest cup. The whistles, clacks and other vocalizations heard during the video clips were made by Laysan albatrosses near Wisdom’s nest.

From the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region:

27 November 2014

Something to be thankful for…Wisdom, the world’s oldest, banded wild bird has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge! The Refuge is home to the world’s largest albatross colony. Learn more about Wisdom here.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Wisdom Lives On!! Wisdom … was sighted preening her mate on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge on November 22. Her band number Z333 was viewed by Deputy Refuge Manager Bret Wolfe. Bret is using a telephoto lens from about 30 feet away to avoid disturbing the pair. Wisdom’s mate has been waiting within a few feet of the pair’s former nest site since Wednesday, November 19. Although Wisdom has not been seen since last Sunday (which isn’t an unusual Laysan albatross nesting behavior); we can celebrate by knowing she survived another year at sea and maybe returning very soon.

For more information on this amazing long-lived matriarch of the seabird world go here.

Belgian ‘plastic soup’ pollution solution?


This video, in English with Vietnamese subtitles, says about itself:

These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September 2009 on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

~Chris Jordan

October 2009

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ecover to turn sea plastic into bottles in pioneering recycling scheme

Green cleaning brand claims plastic trawled from the sea can be used to create fully sustainable and recyclable packaging

Sea plastic pollution: Plastic bottles and other rubbish washed up on a beach

Plastic bottles and other rubbish washed up by the tide on a beach, Isle of Man. Ecover will use plastic waste trawled from the sea to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic. Photograph: Alamy

Ecover, the green cleaning brand, said on Thursday it will use plastic waste retrieved from the sea to create an entirely new type of sustainable and recyclable plastic bottle.

The Belgian company is working with plastic manufacturer Logoplaste to combine plastic trawled from the sea with a plastic made from sugar cane (‘Plant-astic’) and recycled plastic, in what it is calling a world-first for packaging. Products made from the packaging will go on sale next year.

But the company was unable to give details of how much plastic would be retrieved or what percentage of “sea plastic” would be used in the packaging.

Ecover chief executive, Philip Malmberg, said: “We won’t have a definitive figure on the amount we will retrieve we are just hoping to get as much as is possible and give fishermen an incentive to join the initiative and help clean the seas. We want to get the sea waste in as much of our packaging as possible – it will always depend on the amount and quality of the plastic they have managed to fish.”

Philip Malmberg, Ecover’s CEO, talks to Guardian Environment Network partnerRTCC about plastic soup, the recession and ditching fossil fuels

According to the Marine Conservation Society, plastic debris accounts for almost 60% of all litter found on UK beaches, while much of it ends up in the sea. The scale of the problem was highlighted in a recent studyby scientists who found a sperm whale that died off the coast of Spain last year had a stomach full of flowerpots, hosepipe and nearly 30 square metres of plastic greenhouse covers.

Ecover was set up in 1981 and the UK is now one of its biggest markets, generating some 40% of sales. The company said it would work with the industry-led Waste Free Oceans initiative and the UK recycling plant Closed Loop to recruit fishing communities working in the British waters off the North Sea to collect plastic.

Boats outfitted with special equipment will be able to collect between two and eight tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, while other fishermen will collect plastic debris mixed with by-catch and deposit it at special collection points. The sorted waste will then be sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham, east London, where it will be processed and turned into the plastic for the new bottles.

Trials have already begun on the exact mix of the three plastics that will allow the brand to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic.

Malmberg added: “Sustainability is a never-ending journey. Solve one problem or tackle one issue and it simply leaves you free to solve the next. Our focus on continual innovation means that we are always pushing boundaries. As manufacturers we’ve got to take responsibility for sustainability very seriously – to take real action on climate change and the damage done by our over-reliance on fossil fuels, creating ‘green’ products that deliver more than a nod to sustainability.”

Ecover’s move has the backing of the Environment Agency, although it is not providing any funding or subsidy to help retrieve the plastic debris. The company said it would incur the costs of the exercise and pledged not to pass it on to consumers via any price increases.

This video is called Plastic Shores: ‘Micro-plastics’ Animation.

THIS 21-YEAR-OLD WANTS TO CLEAN UP THE OCEANS “Boyan Slat, a 21-year-old who gained worldwide recognition two years ago for his ambitious plan to rid the oceans of plastics, is one step closer to making his idea a reality. His foundation just raised the 1.5 million euros they needed to test their technology in real-life conditions, which will take place in the North Sea this summer. [HuffPost]

270,000 TONS OF PLASTIC LITTERS THE OCEAN “A new study estimates nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world’s oceans. That’s enough to fill more than 38,500 garbage trucks. The plastic is broken up into more than 5 trillion pieces, said the study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.” [AP]

Insufficient US albatross protection


This video is called Short-tailed AlbatrossMidway Atoll.

From Wildlife Extra:

US issues permits for albatross ‘bycatch‘ – Bird group disappointed

Permits won’t improve current situation

September 2012. On August 20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a permit under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) authorizing a limited number of seabirds to be killed or injured by Hawaiian swordfish vessels.

This action is the first permit ever issued under the MBTA – America’s foremost law protecting migratory bird species – to regulate the “take” of migratory birds in the operation of an otherwise lawful commercial activity.

Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses killed by swordfish boats

Until now, only regulation under the Endangered Species Act had been used to prevent seabird deaths caused by commercial longline fishing, and then only in relation to the endangered Short-tailed Albatross. It has been well-known for decades that Hawaiian swordfish boats kill and injure Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses. The birds are attracted to and dive on baited hooks, becoming ensnared in lines or impaled by the hooks and dragged under the surface to be drowned. However, the MBTA had not historically been applied to this fishery because the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS – the federal agency that oversees the U.S. fishing fleet) had asserted that the areas where it operates, federal waters and on the high seas, lie outside the jurisdiction of the MBTA. But NMFS evidently reversed their position in 2011, when they decided to apply for this permit.

Disappointment

“ABC generally supports the issuance of permits for the Hawaiian swordfish and other U.S. fisheries as a mechanism to reduce seabird bycatch, but the conditions under which this precedent-setting take permit will be issued are disappointing,” said George Wallace, Vice President for Oceans and Islands at American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the only organization dedicated exclusively to conserving birds throughout the Americas.

A Draft Environmental Assessment on the NMFS permit application was published by FWS in the Federal Register on January 10, 2012. ABC provided official comment on the assessment’s analysis of the proposed permit and its impacts to seabirds. ABC indicated support for a permit alternative that would result in limiting and/or reducing current levels of incidental mortality and seek compensation for practicably unavoidable seabird mortality if necessary.

FWS published its Final Environmental Assessment on August 20, 2012, concluding that the current level of take, which averages 54 Laysan and 20 Black-footed albatrosses annually (equivalent to less than 1 percent of the estimated breeding population of each species), does not pose a threat to the population or conservation status of either species. FWS therefore decided to authorize take at this level and add in a buffer to account for anomalous events. Under this permit, NMFS will not be required to take action to reduce albatross take in the fishery. Instead, they will be required to analyze existing data and tap other sources of information to improve their knowledge of when and how take occurs and investigate how that might be remedied.

Live caught birds

“While it is evident that FWS does seek the eventual reduction of seabird mortality in this fishery, that desire is not reflected in the permit conditions. NMFS and FWS both know that the high proportion of albatrosses hooked or entangled and then released alive likely result from certain casual practices that unnecessarily expose seabirds to increased risk.

There is no incentive to reduce these practices if permits authorize take in such generous numbers. Furthermore, the permit does not require any offset or compensation from NMFS for avoidable take,” added Wallace.

Restrict baited hooks

One practice that could have been halted by the take permit, but will be allowed to continue for now, involves dragging baited hooks on the surface of the water behind the fishing vessel while other lines are retrieved.

This increases the exposure of seabirds to baited hooks and leads to a higher chance of them being injured.

“A remedy for this problem does not require data analysis and multiple three-year permit terms to develop and implement. FWS has missed an opportunity to eliminate this unnecessary risk to albatrosses now,” said Wallace.